As above, Mavericks are the best climbing full sussers bar none.
They really do climb just like a hardtail.
They climb significantly better than a hardtail.
There are lighter frames out there (though not many in ally, my Durance is 5.5lb inc shock, you've got to go carbon to get much lighter), there are newer designs, there are "better looking" frames (though beauty is in the eye of the beholder) and there are more active designs. The Maverick just works though... Try one. You will be amazed! There are other good climbing bikes out there, but the Maverick really will mince them for traction (if not weight) when the going gets technical.
The Maverick just tends to dig in and go. When you expect the wheel to spins, it just keeps going.
You'll find you can run a near enough slick tyre and still get up stuff you may rely on a heavily knobbled tyre on other bikes for, which in turn, will give you a speed boost elsewhere. Your legs will give out long before traction ever does.
Function over form, but I think they look great, and I've just bought another!!
Welcome back! What did you get in the end mate?
But, to quote Ned Overend when someone asked him how to be quicker climbing "push harder on the pedals"
DON'T EVER kid yourself it's any more than 1% bike, and 99% rider... There's lots of people out there that you could put them on a long travel freeride bike and still they would pass me on my Maverick on the climbs. Saw Liam Killeen out riding this morning on the Malverns, wouldn't fancy my chances much climbing against him even if you put him on a 50lb DH sled!